January 15, 2018
A big thank you from The Smithereens regarding “Time and Time Again: A Celebration of Pat DiNizio”.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping to turn sadness into joy. While we will forever miss Pat, the love we felt - from the audience at the Count Basie Theatre and all the comments from the live stream - assured us that his spirit will live on. We’d like to thank Little Steven for giving us the opportunity to celebrate Pat’s life, the entire backstage crew, and all of the guest artists who contributed their passionate renditions of The Smithereens’ songs:
Richard Barone, Bebe Buell, Andy Burton, Marshall Crenshaw, Ken Dashow, Dave Davies, The Grip Weeds (Kristin Pinell Reil, Kurt Reil, Rick Reil,) Kenny Howes, Freedy Johnston, John Jorgenson, Severo Jornacion, Lenny Kaye, Ted Leo, Graham Maby, Kenny Margolis, Jim Monaghan, Tony Shanahan, Ed Stasium, Keith Streng, Steven Van Zandt, Robin Wilson, Peter Zaremba, Zou Zou. We’d also like to thank Patty Smyth and Scandal for their performance.
A very special thank you to the White Castle corporation for their generous donation of $10,000 to the Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship fund and as a special bonus, for treating our audience to 500 cheeseburgers as a late night snack! To be continued...
Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros
Here's the entire archived concert "Time and Time Again: A Celebration of Pat DiNizio" held at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ, on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Patty Smyth and Scandal perform first beginning at 55 minutes in. The Smithereens and special guests begin at 2:05 and ends at 5:35 - a full 3-1/2 hours of music!!!
December 12, 2017
Today we mourn the loss of our friend, brother and bandmate Pat DiNizio. Pat had the magic touch. He channeled the essence of joy and heartbreak into hook-laden three minute pop songs infused with a lifelong passion for rock & roll. Our journey with Pat was long, storied and a hell of a lot of fun. We grew up together. Little did we know that we wouldn’t grow old together.
Goodbye Pat. Seems like yesterday.
Jimmy, Mike, Dennis
October 29, 2017
Today, October 29th is the one year anniversary of the Betty Babjak Memorial Concert. I wanted to provide an update on the current status of the scholarship.
I signed an agreement between the Rutgers University Foundation and the Betty Babjak Memorial Fund, both registered as a 501c3 charitable organization incorporated under the laws of the State of New Jersey, that will award an annual scholarship to honor the memory of Betty Babjak, Rutgers College class of 1982 who passed away from pancreatic cancer.
The Rutgers office of financial aid will be responsible for administering the distribution from the fund in preference to support a student, or students who have experienced the loss of a guardian. Two scholarships were awarded the past September and one is allocated for 2018. There is a balance in the fund's bank account reserved for future years so I can continue my commitment to Rutgers.
I wish to thank all of those involved in this labor of love, for it was you who came together for one night to celebrate Betty and make something good come out of such a tragedy.
Love to all of you,
October 29, 2016 marked a very special night for the Smithereens, their fans, family and friends, as all four original members played together again for the first time in over a decade to honor the memory of the late Betty Babjak. Bassist Mike Mesaros joined his former bandmates to play a set that included their first album “Especially for You” as well as Smitherens classics and nuggets such as the theme from Batman and "White Castle Blues". During the set, 400 White Castle burgers were delivered and distributed to the band and members of the audience.
Also on the bill was Buzzed Meg, Jim Babjak’s side project (with Dennis Diken, Kurt Reil and Kristin Pinell of The Grip Weeds, and Vince Grogan) as well as Snow Blind featuring Tommy Babjak on drums.
The event was held at the Hungarian-American Citizens Club in Woodbridge NJ, where Jim and Betty Babjak frequented when they first dated. Proceeds from the show went to benefit The Betty Babjak Memorial Fund to establish a scholarship for Rutgers students who have lost a parent to pancreatic cancer.
Thanks to all the fans who came as well as everyone who participated in making the event an unforgettable experience. Please visit the Smithereens Official Facebook Group for Band for fan photos and videos.